WATERFORD ESTATE AND GARDEN TRAIL
Over the past 30 years, visiting great Estate Gardens & Garden Trails throughout Ireland has become one of the most popular activities for both home and overseas visitors. There are over 130 gardens to date in Ireland and Waterford boasts some of the finest examples including Mount Congreve House & Gardens, cited as one of the finest gardens in Europe. Many of the gardens in Waterford City & County are open to the public to enjoy and all within a short distance from the Waterford Viking Triangle. Below are just some of the finest examples of what Waterford Garden Trail has on offer, starting with Mount Congreve House & Gardens, famous all over the world for its rare plants and also its plant nurseries.
MOUNT CONGREVE HOUSE AND GARDENS
Ambrose Christian Congreve, son of Major John Congreve and his wife Lady Helena (nee Ponsonby), a daughter of the 8th Earl of Bessborough, passed away in 2011 at the age of 104, leaving his beloved estate in trust to the Irish State.
Ambrose was honored with a CBE in 1965, awarded 13 Gold Medals at the Chelsea Garden Show in London, a Veitch Memorial Medal by the Royal Horticultural Society in 1987, and a Gold Medal (for a Great Garden of the World) by the Botanic Gardens in Boston, Massachusetts in 2001. This Waterford garden consists of seventy acres of intensively planted woodland overlooked by 18th- and 19th-century plantations of oak and beech with more than 16 miles of paths and interspersed views of the River Suir. The collection consists of 300 varieties of magnolias, 600 varieties of camellias, 3,000 varieties of rhododendrons and azaleas, 250 types of Japanese cherries and maples, and half a mile of hostas.
The historic home of the 8th Marquis of Waterford, who died aged 81 in Feb 2015, was an Irish peer, important landowner and a noted player in the Duke of Edinburgh’s polo team. His eldest son, Henry Nicholas de la Poer Beresford, Earl of Tyrone, born in 1958, succeeds to the title.
Curraghmore Estate includes 2,500 acres of formal gardens, woodland and grazing fields make this the largest private demesne in Ireland. Some of the most striking features of this garden include terraces designed by the various Lady Waterford’s of the day, a shell grotto designed and decorated by the Countess of Tyrone in 1754, a stone-arched bridge built in 1205 for King John to cross the River Clodagh.
DROMONA HOUSE GARDENS
Dromoa House has been the seat to 21 generations of principal Irish families including the FitzGeralds, Lords of the Decies, and later the Villiers-Stuart. This historic house sits overlooking the Blackwater River with a garden and woodland that extends over 30 acres. Between 1742 and 1744 the 1st Earl of Grandison planted some 64,480 trees, many of which are still standing. The anniversary of the Villiers-Stuart grounding on the banks of the Blackwater in Waterford in 1215 is to be celebrated in July 2015.
The Irish home to Peregrine Andrew Morny Cavendish, 12th Duke of Devonshire KCVO, CBE and British peer. He is the only surviving son of Andrew Cavendish, 11th Duke of Devonshire and his wife, the former Deborah Mitford.